Clean Idle Certification – What Is It?
Perhaps you've heard that the 2008 model year and later Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks have received Clean Idle Certification, but what does that mean? In short, it means that these trucks are at the leading edge of clean diesel technology.
As of January 1, 2008, the California Air Resources Board has mandated a stringent set of requirements for any vehicle greater than 14,000-lb GVWR to control NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) emissions while at idle. The emissions standards have also been adopted by a number of other states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The requirement says that all engine manufacturers must either implement a mandatory five-minute idle shutdown timer or certify that the engine can meet a NOx idle level of 30 grams per hour without increasing other emissions such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter or non-methane hydrocarbons. Some vehicles (such as buses, recreational vehicles and authorized emergency vehicles) are exempt from this requirement. In essence, the choice boils down to this: program the engine so it shuts down every five minutes or figure out a way to have the idling engine meet the required standards.
Clean Idle Solution
For the average 4500/5500 Chassis Cab owner, you can imagine how inconvenient it would be to have your engine automatically shutting down after five minutes of idle. So Dodge and Cummins chose to develop a Clean Idle solution rather than implement a mandatory timer. Today's Cummins 6.7L engine meets all Clean Idle Certification standards in the states where California-certified engines are required. That means you can idle as long as needed at a job site (except, of course, where prohibited by local regulations). Clean Idle may not have been an option when some states, counties or cities created their rules, so consult your local officials for clarification on local regulations.
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